The Environmental Protection Agency awarded almost a half-million dollars to the Houston Advanced Research Center (or HARC) to reduce diesel emissions in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston-Galveston-Brazoria areas. Part of the reductions will come from installation of auxiliary power units, educational training and outreach to fleet operators.

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The $496,627 grant aims to significantly reduce emissions and save fuel by retrofitting long-haul trucks with Auxiliary Power Units (or APUs). Outreach efforts aim to increase awareness of the program and influence other truck drivers and trucking companies to make similar efforts. Partners in the grant include both the American Lung Association of The Central States and Idle Green.

EPA considers APUs a verified pollution reduction technology. The agency says APUs will aid in eliminating 11 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from trucks each year. To assist with the expansion of these reduction technologies, the EPA, partnered with the Small Business Administration to set up attractive loan packages for trucking companies that implement SmartWay strategies.